Saturday, 8 February 2014

Medan Selera Stadium @ Ipoh

Whenever my family returns to Ipoh for the Chinese New Year (CNY), we would always make it a point to go for breakfast at Medan Selera Stadium @ Ipoh (the row of stalls beside Ipoh Stadium) mainly because many of the Chinese coffee shops are closed for the festive season.  

Medan Selera Stadium is a popular hawker food centre that sells a variety of food from Chinese to Malay to Indian food. 
One of the stalls we always patronise is Stall No. 54 - Fuad Roti Canai

"Roti Canai" has become one of the staple breakfasts in our multi-cultural society.  It's a type of Indian-influenced flatbread and is usually eaten with some type of curry.  And Fuad's roti canai @ RM1 is light, fluffy and slightly crisp on the edges.  It's freshly made to order every time, so you may have to wait a while for your order to arrive...and one is always never enough!  It may not be the best roti canai I have eaten but it was still pretty good. 

What I really like is the dhal curry (a type of lentil gravy), with a dollop of spicy "sambal" (a type of sauce made from chillies, shrimp paste, garlic, onions, etc.), that accompanies the roti.  In my opinion, the Indians are better at making good roti canai while the Malays make a better dhal (probably because of the additional spicy sambal that makes it taste so good).

Besides roti canai, you can also find nasi lemak (fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk) and Malay-styled "mee goreng" (fried noodles) at this stall.   
This is their spicy sambal, "sambal sotong" (chilli squid) and "rendang daging" (beef rendang).

This is the nasi lemak with sambal sotong but I find their sotong not tender enough.  The fried "ikan bilis and kacang" (anchovies and nuts) at this stall is not the typical kind that you get at other nasi lemak stalls.  Here they are fried and caramelised with sugar, so they are not as crispy as the normal kind.  They taste slightly salty but more on the sweet side.

This is the nasi lemak with just a plain fried egg and their ikan bilis and kacang condiments.

Overall, the nasi lemak here is passable though I have eaten lots of better nasi lemak than this.  The bill for 2 plates of nasi lemak and 1 plate of mee goreng + drinks is about RM15 which is considered cheap hawker fare.

Other than roti canai and nasi lemak, we would also eat at Stall No. 28 - Taiping "Char Kuey Teow" @ RM4.50 a plate.

"Char Kuey Teow" or CKT is flat rice noodles (and sometimes with mee) stir-fried over high heat with light and dark soy sauce and is commonly fried with eggs, Chinese sausage, fish cake, fresh cockles and bean sprouts). 

The CKT at Stall No. 28 was quite decent, not too wet, although I've eaten better ones before.  The CKT was fried in egg and came with a few prawns (though you can't see it), plenty of cockles (though a bit small), plump Ipoh bean sprouts (of course) and chives but didn't have enough "wok hei" (that distinct aroma, that can only be achieved through frying the noodles in a black metal wok over an intense heat, which makes you drool when you smell it)!

What was sorely missing was the "chee yau char" (crisp croutons of pork lard)!  As such, it is not as fragrant as I hoped as it was not stir-fried in pork fat.

Whether it is any good, we had to wait a good 30 minutes for it (maybe because it is CNY) and the stall owner fries them one plate at a time!

We also ordered an extra plate of CKT from 4 stalls away (for comparison and sharing)---Stall No. 32 - Seng Loong (since one blogger touted it as one of the better ones in Ipoh) but, sadly, after more than 30 minutes wait, we had to cancel the order.  Guess I will have to make the comparison some other time.

My Personal Opinion

Whether Ipoh can rival the infamous Penang CKT or the many good ones in Kuala Lumpur (KL) is yet to be seen but if there is one reason why I like to eat Ipoh's CKT, it has to be because of the plump and juicy Ipoh bean sprouts which clearly sets it apart from Penang or KL's CKT.

You should try Fuad's roti canai as I have not seen many Malays who can make roti canai as good as the Indians or Mamak (Indian Muslim) can.

Medan Selera Stadium
Jalan Ghazali Jawi
Ipoh Garden
31400 Ipoh

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